There is only one ingredient needed to create a successful blog: a community. Strip away all the key tools we're told we need, the hype around what “experts” say works, and tricks that make a blog go viral and you're left with what has worked forever: a tribe of people that help you grow your blog.
When I first started blogging, I thought I had it under control. Both my parents were writers. I had a communications degree under my belt. And I WORKED in social media and online marketing. This would surely be a piece of cake.
I was wrong.
I worked tirelessly on my blog. I'd wake up at 6:00am, trying to get a post up before work, research the trending topics of the day to try to influence my post. But my numbers never rose. I didn't have many followers and the only comments I got were from my Mom or when I sheepishly asked co-workers for support.
Then, things changed. I started realizing creating a community around my blog is what was needed to make it grow. This light-bulb moment occurred when a fellow blogger commented on a post. She left a link to her blog. I responded. Then decided to comment on other blogs.
Slowly, I began making online connections and establishing myself online.
Not only did people comment, read, and share, they helped me IMMENSELY. They told me that my comment system was faulty, when links were broken, or when a post was truly impactful. If this shift hadn't happened, then my blog would not be where it is today.
Whether you're just starting out or a blogging pro, you need support. Period.
Whenever we start a project, or something as time constricting as a blog, we want to try our hands at “doing it all.” We think we can do it, with no help, and that it will all go as planned. But like with anything in life, having a helping hand or an expert help us along makes a significant difference.
Your blog tribe are those people that you can count on. They help you brainstorm posts, collaborate on projects, and help you promote your posts. They are there for you and help you in so many ways both personally and in the blogging world.
So, now that you know that a Blogging Community is essential for your blog, how do you create your blogging tribe?
Commenting on other blogs is an incredible way to connect. When you read a blog post and connect with it, leaving an authentic comment giving your opinion or letting them know that it resonated with you, immediately gives you an opportunity to have a discussion with that blogger. You are establishing a connection. Many times, when you comment on someone's blog they will return the favor. Spend just a small amount of time and see the difference it makes. Not just in relationships, but also in pageviews.
Follow and Interact on Social Media
I know when I find a blog I immediately connect with I'll follow them on Twitter or Instagram or both. Not only does this tell me more of what they're about, it also gives me a chance to talk with them. Don't just stop by following them. Leave a comment on their latest insta pic, give a shout out of their recent blog post on Twitter, or just let them know you pick up what they're putting down. AKA… you like them.
Join A Group
Joining active Facebook groups is a great way to expand your blogging community, it allows you to promote yourself and your blog. These are already developed communities filled with like-minded bloggers and entrepreneurs that can help you in many ways. Here's one to join.
Another great thing to do? join an Instagram challenge!
Are you inspired by someone? TELL THEM. I know when I get those emails or messages that my post or my course helped someone I am floored. It makes me feel like all this is worth it. Don't be afraid to email someone and just let them know. Tell them you included them in a recent post or that their work impressed you. It means a lot, and later on when you need a helping hand they will remember you for reaching out.
Link ups are a great way to find new bloggers and discover ones that you immediately connect with. You'll find link ups that run on a specific day, ones that have a theme, or ones that have a challenge. I love the challenge ones (those are the ones I tend to host!) since everyone is able to connect and see how others interpret the objective. This is a great list of link ups. I also like Amanda's Friday Faves and Ashley's “No Rules” link up.
Share the posts you like. This helps establish your blog because others will connect you with these posts as well. You're seen as an authority when you share similar posts and articles. Chances are, if you liked this post, your readers will too. They'll thank you for sharing it.
Consistency is key with everything. Keep sharing, keep reaching out, and keep interacting. I promise you, when you do this, you will help to establish yourself online, grow your audience, and create a community that matters.
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